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View Full Version : Taking Bourbon at Vinexpo in France.



mrviognier
06-23-2011, 09:58
Have just spent the week in Bordeaux, France, attending Vinexpo, the world's largest wine trade show. Just so happens that a lot of spirits get sold here, too. Was able to spend some time with Max Shapira at Heaven Hill. We're going to be working on a little project together that I can't wait to share with y'all.

Max told me that there are multiple plans in the works to relaunch some of their older labels, as well as some new line extensions. When I asked for specifics, all he would do is smile and say, "soon". Funny...he said the same thing when I asked what the next Parker's Heritage would be. :grin:

Checked out a fancy booth done up like your typical U.S. bar, complete with sports memorabilia and a LOT of cowboy hats. Why the hats? Here's why:
http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii95/mrviognier/whiskey.jpg

I guess nothing says "America" like cowboys and Bourbon...so why not package the two? This is the brainchild of the Schwarze and Schlichte group out of Germany. They buy Bourbon in bulk, and bottle it in Germany. Turns out they've plans to introduce it to the states soon, too. You can read about it here (http://www.stetson-spirits.com).

It's 84 proof, and fairly light in taste. It's nothing that's going to lift the skirts of most of us, but might entice newcomers to the category. When pressed, they admitted that the spirit is being made for them by Heaven Hill.

Rughi
06-23-2011, 11:10
...When pressed, they admitted that the spirit is being made for them by Heaven Hill.

There's Heaven Hill and there's Heaven Hill. They have about half the world's supply of 8+ year old bourbon which span many, many taste profiles, a few of which have the pronounced menthol character of their core products.

It looks like it's not age stated and perhaps it's quite young. I'd be interested in anyone's tasting notes on this.

Roger

mrviognier
06-23-2011, 11:30
Wasn't in a professional setting to write notes, but from what I recall, fairly light in color, notes of sweet corn, cereals, no spice. Light entry, with notes of orange, corn and vanilla. REALLY light body, and soft, quick finish. No flaws, just not enough there to make it compelling. And, no, not a touch of that menthol/eucalyptus that predominates many of the HH offerings.

I think this would really appeal to the European who drinks JD and wants to 'splurge' on a Bourbon. They're not going to find anything there to startle the palate.

sailor22
06-23-2011, 11:37
They may be on to something with the marketing and graphic on the bottle. I used to work with an Italian company and it seemed half the men under 30 were nicknamed Cowboy. Plenty of cowboy hats were purchased when they visited the USA.

cowdery
06-23-2011, 12:19
When they first started to market Jim Beam outside the USA they were big on cowboy imagery. I recall an ad that showed a man's blue-jeaned legs, cowboy boots on the feet, with a stetson in the shot too, but instead of a horse the 'steed' was a motorcycle.

bgageus
06-23-2011, 19:45
I would suggest that the next parkers be something finished in a wine barrel, given the atmosphere.

cigarnv
06-24-2011, 05:43
Very interesting view into the marketing of whiskey outside of the US.... thanks for posting...

Rughi
06-24-2011, 09:15
...from what I recall, fairly light in color, notes of sweet corn, cereals, no spice. Light entry, with notes of orange, corn and vanilla. REALLY light body, and soft, quick finish. No flaws, just not enough there to make it compelling. And, no, not a touch of that menthol/eucalyptus that predominates many of the HH offerings...

Thanks Mat,
That description sounds similar to Early Times or perhaps a recent Rebel Yell. Did it have a strong ethanol whiff on the nose? Because otherwise it sounds like a sweet, smooth and short ET - but not so much how I normally think of a young HH rye bourbon.

It would be interesting to see if this profile matches up with any domestic product.

mrviognier
06-25-2011, 11:41
Yes, there was a slight ethanol whiff to this. If anything, it really reminded me of JD Black. That feeling was reinforced when I ordered one on the flight home yesterday. Strangely similar.

On a side note, am happy to report that each of the five bottles of Bourbon I bought at the Maison du Whiskey in Paris made it home intact. Just wondering which one I'll crack tonight in celebration. :grin:

OscarV
06-25-2011, 12:26
I would suggest that the next parkers be something finished in a wine barrel, given the atmosphere.

As a matter of fact the next Parker's Heritage will be finished in wine casks.

(later edit)
Actually it will be finished in cognac casks.

StraightNoChaser
06-25-2011, 12:47
As a matter of fact the next Parker's Heritage will be finished in wine casks.

(later edit)
Actually it will be finished in cognac casks.
Completely unrelated post but I was reminded by the occurrence thanks to your post.

Yesterday I went dusty hunting in a rather gloomy and impoverished side of town. While browsing the bottles behind a glass window I observed the clerk hand a 375ml of Courvoisier to a young lady. She read the label and said "Champagne? I don't want no champagne." and quickly switched to a bottle of E&J :lol: